I have spent four of my most productive years in Chennai, so Madras (As I like to call it) will always have a sweet spot in my heart. Because …
1. The Culture
Dramatics, Classical music concerts, Bharatnatyam shows, Quizzes, Spelling Bee contests, Art movies, Painting exhibitions – You can find at least one of these almost every single day, in any of the many auditoriums.
Back in college I used to watch so many plays in the auditoriums in Mount Road that I fell in love with Dramatics, which truly is an intense Performing Art, and some of my reviews used to come in the newspapers like The Hindu too..
2. Filter Kaapi
Madras Filter Kaapi is the best thing one can have early in the morning, with a plate of steaming hot Pongal. Do try the Karpagambal mess in Mylapore. YUM! 😀
3. Besant Nagar Beach
Cycling at 4am to Besantnagar beach to catch the sunrise, and then to grab breakfast in Mash or Murugan Idli (Or Pupil in the evening) at Elliots, is the best way to spend a Sunday morning.
Rs.120 per Movie – Any day, any show. For class movies, go watch Ajith. For method acting, go watch Vikram. For mass movies, go watch Vijay. For epicness, go watch T Rajendar. But, to witness divinity, one must watch only Thalaiva. Rajini, the Boss. \m/
ARR. Ilaiyaraaja. Maniratnam. P C Sreeram. K Balachander. Kamal Hassan. Enough said.
Shopping on a Sunday evening in T.Nagar would teach you survival skills. Also, finding a thousand jewelry showrooms in a single lane does not make any sense to me at all. 😀
7. Marina Beach
An evening date on the sands of Marina beach, eating fresh fried fish and prawns, and then going to City Centre nearby to watch a movie, would be next to epicness.
One can find Beef Fried Rice, Mutton bone soup, Thalapakattu chicken biryani, Ambur biryani, Chettinad chicken, Saravana Bhavan on almost every other street! 😀
9. Local Trains
Autos? Nope. Buses? Nope. Trains? YUP!!! Travelling in the local trains, standing next to the door, with Chennai humid wind on your face, is much better than the AC metros in Delhi. 🙂
10. Rock And Metal Culture
One can be a pro in Classical Carnatic music, a maestro in Veena playing, and at the same time, be a true heavy metalhead, head-banging to Hammerfall or Opeth. The rock and metal culture of Chennai can be only paralleled by Bangalore. South India is the shizz!
11. East Coast Road
The 50km East Coast Road stretch, with the view of the sea on one side, and a bike ride on an amazing highway is exhilarating. Going to Mahabalipuram or Pondichery on this road, is one of the best road trips one can take.
12. CSK (Chennai Super Kings)
CSK at Chepauk. \m/ One MUST whistle podu for the yellow stars macha.
The unlimited sweet shops of Sowcarpet, mainly due to the Marwaris living there, will attract the sweet-tooth in you. And, one must visit Agarwal Bhojanalaya near Chennai Central for some authentic Rajasthani cuisine.
14. British-Era Architecture
The British-era architecture, with it’s large sophisticated buildings is worth a watch. And just within 70km, you can enjoy the French culture too! British mixed with Tamil mixed with French, is truly an amazing combo.
Temples! Oh God, how did I forget to include this! Large temples are literally present everywhere. And if you go to Mylapore, you can see three-four large temples in a single street! Huge gopurams, tall shikharas, unstoppable aunties adorned in silk and gold can be seen throughout the day, especially if it is an auspicious day.
Peace! I dont think I have ever heard of a terrorist attack or a bomb explosion in Chennai. Even though it is a melting pot of almost all cultures, religions, castes, regions and races. I have seen almost all kinds of people in Chennai, but not a single terrorist attack. (Yes, Dalit vs Brahmin issues are there in TN, but violence is negligible in Chennai).
Politics!! If you can walk in a street for more than 100 metres without seeing an Amma poster, then sorry, you are not in Chennai. Jaya aunty and Karuna uncle’s pics are present in almost on every billboard, on every lamp post, on every wall and on every newspaper.
As they say, Chennai is only a city. Madras is the true emotion.
This city is a city of stories. This city is where dreams come true.
I have been a proud Madrasi for only four years, and yet, a part of my heart and soul will always be a Madrasi/Chennaiite.
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